OK, I'm a white person. A 60 year old privileged white woman with an advanced medical degree. Maybe I delivered your baby or grandchild..

I was burned out, just got back from a vacation with time zone change. Forgot my cell phone running errands. Picking up mail and refilling the empty cupboards.

My car broke down near the post office. I was able to coast about 3 feet from the curb in a no parking zone. Put my hazards on.

Just needed help calling my mechanic and a tow company. People avoided eye contact, walking widely & quickly away...One young woman said “I don't have my phone with me” while clutching her phone and moving away. Thought I'd have better luck with someone closer to my age, so asked an older couple. The woman looked me square in the eye and said, “I won't be helping you today”. Then added “ Have a nice day.” as she walked away.

I was sitting in my car, thinking of what my next move should be when a young African man knocked on my window. In his broken English, he asked if I needed help and offered to try to find someone for a jump. I knew I needed more than a jump. But he let me use his phone, very graciously & patiently.

After waiting for the tow company for nearly 2 hours, I wanted to call to find out how much longer. I was cold, needed to pee. Again, all the white people scurried away, looking at me with disgust. I wasn't even asking for money!! Finally an accented Middle Eastern man asked. “How can I help?”

I hope that everyone who walked away without letting me use their phone to make a call needs help someday. Wake up white Portland!!